According to Dr. George Liu, an infectious disease expert at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, lab tests of vitamin B3 show that in super-high doses (not the kind you can get in food or supplements), the nutrient may be “surprisingly effective in fighting off and protecting against one of today’s most concerning public health threats.”
That threat is antibiotic-resistant staph infections that are increasingly common around the world, have killed thousands and can pose a significant threat to public health.
The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU), UCLA and other institutions.
Co-first authors Pierre Kyme and Nils Thoennissen found that when used in human blood, clinical mega-doses of vitamin B3 appeared to wipe out the staph infection in only a few hours. However, there is no evidence yet that normal diets or conventional-strength supplements of vitamin B3 would have any beneficial effect in preventing or treating bacterial infection. Researcher Adrian Gombart, of the Linus Pauling Institute says that people should not start taking high doses of the vitamin.
“This is potentially very significant, although we still need to do human studies,” says Gombart. “Antibiotics are wonder drugs, but they face increasing problems with resistance by various types of bacteria, especially Staphylococcus aureus.
“This could give us a new way to treat staph infections that can be deadly, and might be used in combination with current antibiotics,” Gombart says. “It’s a way to tap into the power of the innate immune system and stimulate it to provide a more powerful and natural immune response.”